Basic bathroom to Scandi spa: How to get the look for less

·5-min read
(Supplied Drench)
Adele Armstrong transformed her bland bathroom into a Scandi spa-like space. (Supplied Drench)

A woman has given her bland bathroom a modern, Scandi-style makeover - and saved thousands of pounds in the process.

Giving your bathroom an Insta-worthy overhaul can be overwhelming, but research has revealed it's the room that can take top priority during renovations with almost half (47%) of Brits opting to give their bathroom a modern makeover. 

One such renovator is Adele Armstrong, who managed to make over her dated, basic bathroom with a sleek Scandi theme, and doing the majority of work together with her husband meant the couple were able to keep costs down. 

Armstrong is a criminal justice worker who has an 'obsession' with interior design. She's now channelled her passion into a successful home interior Instagram, @hallie_and_harrisons_house, detailing the style-over of her Scandinavian home in Fife, Scotland. 

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The bathroom was pretty uninspiring before(Supplied Drench)
The bathroom was pretty uninspiring before(Supplied Drench)

The Hygge house, which she bought back in November 2016, has been transformed into a warm, cosy oasis full of neutral tones, natural woods and minimalist decor.

But it's the bathroom makeover that makes the mother-of-two particularly proud. 

“I would definitely describe my style as Scandinavian. But also as warm, modern," she told Drench. "My favourite room is probably the bathroom, as it’s the room we waited for the longest to do. 

"We lived with the old bathroom for four years, so it felt amazing to finally get it done.”

Pre-makeover, the bathroom was pretty uninspiring, with a very basic, monochrome suite, including a very long and unflattering shower hose that connected to the bath filler. 

Despite the dated decor, the room was actually pretty spacious and meant Armstrong was able to install a large wall mounted vanity, a walk-in shower and a freestanding bath.

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Armstrong shopped around to save money on the fittings. (Supplied Drench)
Armstrong shopped around to save money on the fittings. (Supplied Drench)
The bathroom has a resort-style feel. (Supplied Drench)
The bathroom has a resort-style feel. (Supplied Drench)

Recent research reveals that renovating a bathroom can be spenny, with some overhauls costing up to £7.5k, but Armstrong's luxe bathroom overhaul cost a total of £5,000 thanks to careful planning and an eye for a bargain.

“The main thing we do to keep to a budget is doing most things ourselves," she says. "My husband is a joiner and can turn his hand to most things. 

"I’m always happy to get involved and do all the painting.

"I also spend a lot of time scouring the Internet and comparing prices or trying to find similar looks for less.”

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To begin the bathroom overhaul, Armstrong says she completely stripped the room back to the bricks to ensure everything was done properly. 

This included laying a new subfloor, adding new insulation and reframing the walls. 

"From there, fitting the bathroom suite started, and it was finished off with tiling and wood cladding." Adele continued. 

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(Supplied Drench)
The bathroom is very calm and soothing. (Supplied Drench)

Armstrong says scrolling Pinterest and flicking through her many Interiors books provides some creative inspiration for her home makeovers.

"Before decorating a room, I usually save tons of pictures and ideas, and then look to see what the common theme is," she explains.

"From there, I shop around and always recommend creating mood boards to pull everything together."

For this particular room overhaul, Armstrong also took inspiration from bathrooms abroad as she wanted the space to have a "resort feel" using natural, warm colours.

This kind of decor, with a neutral colour palette, feeling of space and plenty of plants, has been popular with many homeowners recently.

And it isn't the only trend Armstrong tapped into for her Scandinavian bathroom.

As well as bringing the outside in with plenty of plants, she also cleverly used wood in the space, creating a spa-like feel.

Houseplants, wood panelling and brass fittings add to the luxe feel.  (Supplied Drench)
Houseplants, wood panelling and brass fittings add to the luxe feel. (Supplied Drench)

Brass fittings also feature in the new room, which immediately add warmth to what can be a cold space. 

“It can be hard to find modern bathroom pieces, especially in finishes like brass or black, that don’t come with giant price tags!” Armstrong explained.  

Armstrong also chose splashes of black in her accessories, such as the flush plate, lampshades, plant pot and cabinet above her bath, which taps into another bathroom trend and according to Dominic Lees-Bell, bathroom expert from Drench, works particularly well with colour-of-the-moment pink. 

"Black is a timeless colour that pairs well with most colours and styles, so it’s not so surprising that black accessories and fixtures have seen a 123% growth in sales for us in 2020," he says. 

"We are particularly loving black fixtures against one of the top bathroom colours for 2021 - pink. But, even if you don’t want to be as daring with such a romantic colour, black really does work well with most colours, and can give that instant flair to your interiors.”

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